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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Class of 2002: Top SoCal
Sophomore Point Guards--(June 5, 2000)

These our our final, post-season, post-spring, pre-summer listings for the class of 2002, the current crop of sophomores who are about to become "rising juniors" in a few weeks (at which point we'll begin to switch all of our class designations for everyone, not just the sophs).   This first list is for the point guards.  Since last fall, a few more players have been identified, so the overall numbers on these lists (even with those players we've now moved to other positions who were on the fall list) has expanded somewhat from 35 last fall, up to 44 on this list.

We've already done our listings for the Top Juniors (Class of 2001) and the Top Seniors (Class of 2000), and all of the SoCalHoops  "Top SoCal Players" lists can always be accessed by clicking on the link on the navigation bar at the left.   We're busy working on the the Class of 2003, this year's current Freshman class, and we'll post that up shortly as well. 

Classifying some of these guys as just point guards is a bit tricky, because many are also excellent shooters who also can (and do) play at the two position from time to time depending upon who else may be in a game with them. However, for those guys who primarily play both positions (i.e, "combo") we've prepared a separate list ("combo/shooting guards"),  which can be found at this link.

There's probably a consensus that a "point guard" is typically the guy who brings the ball up the floor on offense, sets up the offense,   usually guards the other team's point, is typically more of a playmaker, a guy who is looking to get the ball to the open man rather than score himself, a player who has a good feel for when to drive, dish, pull up, or shoot it.   Typically, the point guard winds up with a lot of assists (if he's distributing the ball well and his teammates are scoring), and in short, it's usually a player with excellent vision, good court sense, and one who makes his teammates better.  Not always, but that's the ideal at least, and these are the skills that we look for when we list a player at the point guard position.

A huge caveat about this list:  Please don't get hung up about our previous lists, or where a player may have been shown before.  Some players (like Franklin Matos for example) have left the area and are no longer considered, and the same is true for those who have left to attend prep school (like Lawrence Carrier last fall).  Still other players who may have excellent point skills, but found themselves playing the two a lot this past season are now listed as "combo" guards (e.g., Gavin Lee, Will Sheslow, Mike Washington, Geoffrey Clayton, etc)--they may have good to excellent point skills, but primarily they play at both positions, or have much better than average ability to play both, soso we've listed them separately.

We've broken the points down into overall groupings, based on our own opinions,  but we haven't used numerical rankings for any individual player.   Maybe we should have, and maybe someday we will, but for now we don't really care for the concept of listing a player as the "No. 1" or "No. 2"  "No. 30" in the class.  Others do it, and for them, it's an expression of their opinion too.   For us, we're just not sold on the value of the concept, especially for players who still have two years to develop. 

Many of the recruiting services will use numerical rankings, and we've spoken with several about why they do that, and we've been told various things. . . mostly the view seems to be that these guys are doing this for a living, rating players and selling their services to the college coaches, so they want to be as helpful to the coaches who may use their reports.  That's fine for such services;   they're in business and they're entitled to conduct business any way they want, and won't get any arguments from us about that. 

On the other hand, we believe that college coaches use even the most painstakingly-prepared numerical rankings only as a guide about which players they want to see during the open evaluation periods, and that after a coach has seen a player they'll make up their own minds.  So from our perspective, at least with the SoCalHoops' lists, the point is not to "rank" players individually by number, but really to get the word out about those groups of players we believe are among the best at their positions in a given class.

Most college coaches have already heard the names of most of the players listed here; but there are probably more than a few who we've identified who have not been seen, and so in that way, we hope that more coaches decide to check these guys out either this summer and over the course of the next two academic years. 

Some of these players will be good enough eventually and lucky enough to get recruited at the D-I level, while others will get recruited at various other levels, whether D-II, D-III or NAIA.  Some will wind up at JUCO's because they may not qualify, but in our view, if they can get it done in the classroom, many of them have a chance of getting recruited.   

Another huge caveat:  We have not seen every player in SoCal in the current sophomore class.  Most of what we know about comes from seeing those few sophomores who played varsity this past season, or who have consistently played with some of the better clubs and travel teams.   We've reviewed all of our prior lists, every CIF playoff team roster from this season,  all the tournament and showcase rosters, and spring league rosters, in an effort to at least consider everyone we've seen or know about.  But we have not seen everyone there is to see in this class.  A huge number of the class of 2002 played at the JV or frosh-soph level this past year, and while they will yet emerge over the course of the next two years, we'll be the first to say that we probably haven't seen even half of the class of 2002.  But finding out about new players we've never seen is part of what makes this stuff so much fun, so we're looking forward to seeing even more players identified over the next two years.

We've tried to list those players who played particularly well this past season and spring, who are among the more promising players, those we think have a chance of getting recruited at some level.   The list include players from Fresno in the north, to San Diego in the south, i.e., the entire SoCal region.  Many of the players listed have already drawn the attention of some of the traditional recruiting gurus (e.g., Recruiting USA, Fullcourt Press, Clark Francis'  HoopScoop,  PrepStars Recruiting, PacWestHoops,  and others).  Some are still undiscovered.   But in our view, all of them are excellent players. 

Lastly, not to be too repetitive about this, but if we've left a player off the list, it may or may not be an oversight, but if you think someone deserves to be on the list who isn't, let us know via e-mail.

SoCalHoops Top 10 Sophomore Point Guards
(Class of 2002)

Hassan Adams   6'-4" So. PG   Verbum Dei
Ashanti Cook   6'-0" So. PG   Westchester
Timothy Drisdom   6'-3" So. PG   Calvary Chapel Downey
David Gale   6'-0" So. PG   Buckley
Patrick Haddan   6’-1" So. PG   Mater Dei
Rommel Marentez   5'-11" So. PG   San Diego St. Augustine
Jason McKinney   5'-10" So. PG   Inglewood
Carlos Rivers   5'-10" So. PG   Long Beach Poly
Fernando Sampson   6'-1" So. PG   Fairfax
Ben Wohlfeil 5'-11" So. PG El Cajon Christian

SoCalHoops Next Top 20 Sophomore Point Guards
(Class of 2002)

Omar Amral   5'-9" So. PG   Bolsa Grande
Jeremiah Barnes    5'-8" So. PG   Rowland HS
Brendan Behan   5'-9" So. PG   Redondo
Romel Cabrera   5'-9" So. PG   Bell-Jeff
Jemar Davis   5'-11" So. PG   San Bernardino Pacific
Josh Dillon   5'-10" So. PG   Victor Valley
Keith Ellison   6'-0" So. PG   Redondo Union
Jamel Gay   6'-0" So. PG   Dominguez
Aaron Gipson   5'-8" So. PG   Etiwanda
Steve Graybill   6'-1" So. PG   Dos Pueblos
Mark Holmquist   5'-7" So. PG   Saugus
Chris Johnson   5'-9" So. PG   Manual Arts
Tyler Kealy   5'-11" So. PG   Bell-Jeff
Asher Kupperman   5'-11" So. PG   San Marcos
Carl McCullough   6'-0" So. PG   El Camino San Diego
Greg Nelson   5'-10" So. PG   Carlsbad
Alex Nieto   6'-1" So. PG   La Jolla Bishops
Kevin Prins   6'-0" So. PG   San Diego Calvin Christian
Richard Roby   5'-11" Fr. PG   Cajon
Jamaar Sloan   5'-9" So. PG   Compton Centennial

SoCalHoops Best of the Rest Top Sophomore Point Guards
(Class of 2002)

Derrick Clark   6'-1" So. PG   Leuzinger
Terrence Dalton   5'-8" So. PG   Fresno Washington Union
Allan Ellis   5'-11" So. PG   Crespi
Eric Flournoy   5'-7" So. PG   LA Dorsey
Erik Geisler   6'-0" So. PG   Brea Olinda
Alfonso James   5'-10" Jr. PG   Canyon Springs
Eugene Jeter   5'-9" So. PG   Gardena Serra
Eric Johnson   5'-9" So. PG   Venice
Justin Martin   5'-9" So. PG   Verbum Dei
Kenneth McCullum   5'-10" So. PG   Fairfax
Jon Milgrom   5'-10" So. PG   Milken
Jonathan Smith   5'-8" So. PG   Compton Centennial
Cory Stinson   5'-7" So. PG   Victor Valley
Royal Taylor   5'-8" So. PG   Canyon Springs

The Swish Award
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